Mark Seymour – The Demon Rum

Versions

Version Length Source Availability
Studio  3:50 Mark Seymour Slow Dawn album. Moderately common. Available new in digital form.

 Recommended Version.

 

Commentary

A convict’s lament. A story of alcohol in the history of Australia. From the first landing of convicts apparently released and granted shots to overcome the stress of the 252 days at sea then on through to its place in the vernacular of modern Australian life. How alcohol has always been used as a form of social reward and how it ultimately numbs sensitivity and intelligence.

 

Lyrics

Bring up the bodies the bitter and the sweet
We’ve been down here in the hold too long
Drinking nectar neat
There comes a time when you cross the line
Swallowed by the dark
Beware the demon rum my friend it eats into your heart

We jammed the wind across the sea to this god-forsaken shore
Staggered up that lonely beach and cried out
“Give me for more!”

Crashed out beneath the southern stars and felt the angry spark
Beware the demon rum my friend it eats into your heart

The demon rum! The demon rum!
It’s a helluva cross to bear my friend
Beware the demon rum

We drained the muddy river, set fire to the mountain top
Breakin’ stone was thirsty work in the land that time forgot
We were speared and shot and spat upon
Beaten from the start
Beware the madness of the mob it eats into your heart

They drove us beyond mercy, we prayed the sun go down
Wallowed in our misery and passed the flagon ‘round
It fueled the fire of loneliness and purged the tender part
“Beware the stain of love,” the master said
“It eats into your heart.”

The demon rum! The demon rum!
It’s a helluva cross to bear my friend
Beware the demon rum

Time to count your blessings and sing this ragged song
I swear it’s been a miracle to believe I’d last this long
the scuttle but was thick and foul like poison in the heart

Beware the fear of god my friend it’s driving us apart